Why I still attend modern bike trade shows

When I was young I couldn't wait to visit the national cycle trade show. I had the fever getting there every year coming, until I had the possibility to touch many bikes as possible, understand what was new and try to find the racing bike of my dreams. Every year that bike remained always on my dreams. Many time it was a concept (unfortunately not in catalogue) or something too expensive for my time! Also if in different perspective, every year since, this needs of discovering the new make me plan to attend some trade shows. Frequently, I opt for the biggest international trade shows dedicated to industry community and for a couple of national events based on the number and quality of exhibitors. In few weeks, one of the biggest - Eurobike - starts, so this means the whole bicycle industry, or at least a portion of it (this time), is very busy to get everything ready before the start of the event. I say “a portion”, because I sadly noticed the absence of many big brands this year. Not something new, it is the trend that all the cycling trade shows are facing from years, struggling to get their old appeal. Many big companies have preference to do their own in house event focused on their dealers, I cannot blame them for it. And, I have not a reply to the question if exhibiting at trade shows is a waste on money. What is certain, is that, in the past decade a lot of changing happened. The new marketing and selling strategies has been matched with the incapacity of the old fairs to adapt and find new timing and solutions for this new era. Moreover, we come from a period where many trade shows were around and redundant, and frankly where the business was the organization of the event itself more than the business between exhibitors/visitors.

Be clear, I’m open to new way of presenting and sell products, but at the same time I’m a bit nostalgic of a trade show where at same time you can meet everybody of your industry. And maybe more, I miss that waiting for that period of the year in which the innovations were presented to the public at the same time and place. With the idea, that only there competitors could present something that could change the game, before start to think what to do for coming year trade show.

Not simple job however to make everybody agreed on period and place nowadays. I just think that spread in multiple mini event could be counterproductive for companies that exhibit and visitors that attend. And the attendance trend demonstrate it.

My activities during the industry focussed trade shows, as you have imagine, differ a bit from what the real attendance visitors (dealers) do. I don’t have to close any wholesale agreement in a certain period. What I do, frequently is breath the air of the new trends, try to discover something that could be a game-changer. Talking with customers about ongoing project expectations or capt the customer reactions about something we have worked on. To meet old friends and have the chance to make new connections. Frequently, I have the possibility to touch some innovations I have noted online and talk with people behind to understand their opinion. So, more brands and people of the circuit are involved at the same event, better it is for me too.

Regarding this year EB trade show, also if the big are not there with their products, I’m sure some of their staff will be around. So, for me will be worth to be there a couple of days before planning the partecipation to next event. Moreover, although I see these absence, I notice quite a lot of new small brands. This means that this year I can focus more on it and have more time to go in search of small details.

If you will be in Friedrichshafen in September, and you want to schedule a business meeting, feel free to be in touch with me. Even if you don’t have a business to propose currently, there will be always time available to take a coffe and maybe discover interesting link. At the end, in this online linking era, trade shows could be old but always a effective way for discover interesting offline resources and making real connections!

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Blog | 29 March 2024


At Gregario, we have always cultivated esteem and respect for the artisanal frame-building tradition of our beautiful country, which is dedicated to a niche of timeless “classic” products, primarily made from steel, but also incorporating wrapped carbon and other techniques specific to small workshops.

So long live frame builders and anyone dedicated to preservation and pass on a noble and fascinating ars technica !

That said, we recently came across some social media posts from several respected bicycle craftspeople who, while rightly praising the (undoubted) qualities of their frames, contrast their “handmade” products with “moulded” monocoque carbon frames. On the face of it, this seems like a legitimate claim, but this narrative leads to significant misinformation about HOW such “moulded” frames are actually produced… namely, with manual work that is decidedly more demanding and onerous than any technique for joining eight tubes.

Yes, because we are not talking about printing cookies, but rather about carefully arranging over 200 fabric shapes (pre-impregnated carbon) inside a mould. These pieces range from 40 cm strips to tiny stamps, all positioned by hand according to a precise plan (the ply-book) with meticulous overlaps, folds to manage and fibre orientations to respect. And this is only half the work, because then, depending on the resin curing technology used, there are a further series of steps involved, always rigorously by hand.

In the case of autoclaves (the most common technique in Europe), it is necessary to carefully position the internal bags, close the two half-moulds without pinching anything, arrange a series of auxiliary materials, close the external bag, apply the putty to connect the internal bags with the external and so on until the whole thing is cured under high pressure and temperature. Furthermore, once the curing is finished, it’s back to manual work for mould opening, part extraction, and finishing. All this with a series of possible variations we won’t go into now.

In short, there is nothing more “handmade” than a carbon monocoque frame.

Blog | 11 August 2023

Cycling meditating

Every successful ride is first and foremost a meditation activity.

Sooner or later along the way, we find ourselves entering a sort of trance: the lungs ventilate, the heart pumps, the muscle memory becomes automatic pilot: intensity, timing, coordination, reflexes. At this point, the brain has “only” to keep an eye on potholes and other road users (and that’s no small thing), but, considering the available computing power, it finds itself unemployed on average. Daily problems are suddenly summoned to a quick and decisive mental meeting: what can be solved is solved, what is not important is reduced, a sudden “lateral” gaze opens up on what seemed insoluble. The shower upon return consolidates the thoughts, fixes the fundamental ideas and we are ready to face new personal and professional challenges.

However, all this happens only on one condition: the absence of pain. Fatigue isn’t a problem, that’s part of the game, it’s wanted and desired by the cyclist, but pain is a whole other story, pain ruins everything. A knee that becomes inflamed, an insistent discomfort in the neck or an unexpected burning in the groin can compromise all the meditative pleasure. The brain can’t focus on anything else: “Maybe if I go back a little on the saddle… no, now I’ll try standing up… nothing to do, I’ll go back to gripping high… nothing, maybe a sprint will help to unlock, nope… what do I do? I know I have to go back.” Missed goals and consequent disappointment.

Then, maybe, you wait a few days, even a week and try again. And what a frustration when that pain makes itself felt again, perhaps even after a few kms in which it has left us harboring the illusion of a successful ride. Even in the hypothesis of lowering the pace and concluding the following rides without problems, the mental state is compromised: one spends the time listening to the nerves, registering every slightest signal, in fear of recognizing the beginning of that pain again.

In the worst case, you enter a loop of medical visits, bike-fitting sessions, saddle/handlebar/stem/riser/cleat/adjustment changes/etc. And in all of this we stop at a certain point to think: where is that pleasure of getting on our most faithful bike, taking the road and quickly entering that meditation bubble?

Anyone who has known this path knows that a custom frame represents the most effective and long-lasting solution. A custom frame is designed to adapt to the physical and morphological characteristics of the cyclist, ensuring optimal posture, balanced weight distribution and less pressure on the joints. Thanks to this customization, the risk of experiencing pain and injuries is drastically reduced, allowing you to fully enjoy every pedal stroke and to keep your mind focused on the essence of the journey. Investing in a custom frame is investing in your physical and mental well-being, rediscovering that meditation in motion that makes cycling one of the most rewarding and liberating experiences. Only in this way will the cyclist be able to rediscover the true meaning of that meditation bubble on two wheels, where the body, the mind and the road merge in perfect harmony.

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